Children’s Books

Coming soon, Pooka.

Saturday, October 8th, Los Gatos Library 12pm-1pm –  free event

Pooka – Most people don’t realize that modern day Halloween is derived from an ancient Irish festival that was brought over to the United States by Irish immigrants. Emer Martin’s new book is a modern take on an ancient Irish folktale, launching just in time for Halloween. From the old Irish ‘Puca, which means ‘goblin’, a Pooka is a shape-shifter and can take any form it chooses but usually it is seen in the form of a dog, rabbit, goat, goblin or even an old man. Traditionally a Pooka is seen as a dark, sleek horse with a long wild flowing mane and luminescent golden eyes. The central character in Pooka is Orla, a troubled young girl who often creates her own problems.  When the mysterious, playful Pooka takes her on a wild ride up to the moon where she meets an even more-troubled witch, they all need to learn the art of cooperation so they can safely make it back to earth.pooka_magi-232x300

Why is the Moon Following Me?

Emer Martin, Suzana Tulac, and Magdalena Zuljevic

MoonBook_ Cover

How this Book Came to Be

    Decades ago, my family was driving through the dark Irish countryside. My sister kept looking up at the night sky and pointing to the beautiful full moon. However, by the time we arrived in Dublin, she woke up, looked at the sky, and burst into tears. She was inconsolable. Finally, she was able to stop crying enough to blurt out: “Why is the moon following me?” My parents shrugged and laughed. All kids,no matter where they live, look up at the night sky and ask questions.  Often, we adults don’t have the answers.

      When I moved to the Bay Area a year ago, my Croatian neighbor Magdalena was working, with her scientist friend Suzana, on an illustrated book about famous scientists. This is Silicon Valley, after all. As I was sitting by the pool editing my forth novel, we started talking and I joined them as a writer. I embraced the chance to write poems for kids. It was a relief from the literary fiction book I was laboring over for the last 5 years.  We met regularly in the  Sufi Café in Mountain View. The three of us sat together in that lovely garden, drinking cappuccinos and talking about astronomy.

       So often, we are presented with the notion of the lone genius; the apple falling on Newton’s head, or Archimedes jumping out of his bath crying “Eureka!”.  But as Newton said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on ye shoulders of Giants”. We scrapped the initial idea of a short introduction to various scientists. We decided, instead, to write the history of one idea; Where are we in the universe? This is a story that spans millennia, from ancient Greece, through Egypt, Poland, Italy, Denmark, and Germany.

     Even in this technological age, the idea is not as obvious as it seems: The National Science Foundation released a report this year stating that: ‘A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around’. We learnt so much as we created this book together, and we hope adults can learn as much as we did while reading this book to their children.

    The Bay Area has ushered in the greatest communications revolution since Guttenberg. Inspired by all the start-ups around us, we decided to take publishing into our own hands. The artist, the scientist and the writer joined forces in the Sufi Café in the center of Silicon Valley. We are publishing this book as a co-operative publishing venture in the spirit of this innovative place. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it.

      My parents couldn’t answer my sister all those years ago. Of course now we have the font of all knowledge in our pockets: Google. Why IS the moon following me? Google it!

    The answer is simple: it’s just very big.